New Wave Media

April 10, 2018

JW Fishers Celebrates 50 Years

  • (Image: JW Fishers)
  • (Image: JW Fishers)
  • (Image: JW Fishers) (Image: JW Fishers)
  • (Image: JW Fishers) (Image: JW Fishers)

In 1968, Jack W. Fisher began developing underwater search equipment, setting the stage for JW Fishers to become a trusted name in underwater search equipment.

The JW Fishers story began in the mid-1960s when Jack, an avid diver, required an underwater metal detector for use on a salvage project. He discovered that there was no such device available, and over the next several years he built his own. Jack’s detector, called the Mark 1, quickly gained popularity and customer demands for new and more powerful models developed quickly. As a result, the company expanded the product line from diver-held detectors to boat-towed metal detectors (Mark 7) and magnetometers (Proton 1).

In the early 1980s, underwater video options became a necessity as ocean exploration was reaching new heights. The DV-1 dropped camera system was introduced. In 1987, the Pulse 8X handheld underwater metal detector hit the open market. JW Fishers’ first ROV, the SeaOtter, was introduced in 1989. This 85-pound remote operated vehicle had four motors, a color camera, and a depth rating of 500 feet.

Over the next two decades, JW Fishers brand and technologies advanced rapidly. In 1994, the company moved from its original location, a facility hand-built by Jack and the original JWF team, to a newer and larger building more suited for the company’s expanding family and product line. In 1994, a larger ROV, the SeaLion, was introduced with a 1,000’ depth rating. This vehicle weighed-in at 125 pounds with six motors and a variable speed, reversible propulsion system. Ultimately, both ROVs received a redesign to become smaller and more powerful in the mid-2000s. In 1993, JW Fishers’ first Side Scan Sonar system was introduced, allowing operators to “paint the bottom” of the ocean floor on thermal imaging paper. Acoustic pingers were also added as a way to mark the location of underwater sites and oceanographic instruments. Cable and pipe trackers followed suit in addition to scanning sonar systems and JW Fishers’ sub bottom profiler. The JWF brand was again expanded in 1999 when the first iteration of the website was launched.

Recently, Fishers introduced the SAR-1 Search and Recovery metal detector; JW Fishers’ first wireless, “snareless” metal detector specially designed for use by public safety dive teams, law enforcement agencies, and military units that need to locate metal objects in poor water visibility. The SAR-1 alerts the operator to the presence of metal through vibration along with a high intensity LED display.

JW Fishers’ decades of innovative momentum has continued into 2018 with the debut of our newest boat towed detector; the Proton-5. This fifth-generation magnetometer boasts new backlit LCD screens, auto-tuning, and a modular design for easy storage.

Today, the Fisher family continues to operate JW Fishers as they pursue Jack’s vision and offers a complete line of underwater search equipment. The greater JWF family also remains strong with team members working with the company, on average, for over 20 years. The company maintains an active research and development effort to explore new technologies. JW Fishers stands behind every product with a warranty and service.

JW Fishers products are in use by underwater archaeologists, treasure hunters, commercial diving companies, fire and rescue units, law enforcement agencies, engineering firms, scientists and military units worldwide.

JW Fishers will be celebrating the milestone year with a tribute on The 50th anniversary page will have various catalogs throughout the years, every news release starting from the very beginning, old pictures and an interactive timeline that shows the history of JW Fishers Manufacturing.

metal detectorsonar systemsunderwater metal detector
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